The Strain Season 2 Episode 3 Review: Fort Defiance

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Have we seen the last of Vaun? Is that why the showrunners switched out Mr. Q?

For some reason, The Strain Season 2 Episode 3 fell a bit flat for me. The momentum fizzled somewhat due to the Palmer & Dutch arcs. However, I was thrilled to see Gus back in action. Will he meet up with our main cast at some point?

I feel terrible about all the Zack-bashing, but what the hell's wrong with that kid? He trashed the lab forcing Eph to lose his cool and deserved a swift kick in the ass. Wow guys, you've seriously effed up this key character.

It's funny, I was curious about Bolivar maintaining his "Goth" appearance all this time. Don't get me wrong the guy looks wicked, but even before being elevated by the Master why did he still look like a rock star? We opened with him going full vamp on a pair of coppers.

Those cocky cops attempted to bully him and got a nasty surprise. Plus, if you're too stupid to get in the car and raise the windows, you deserve to be a strigoi slurpee.

Back at the lab, the virus seemed to be working until strigoi-Pauline croaked. I realize the plan is for the vamps to carry the disease back to the nest to infect others.

However, at one point someone mentioned it also needed to be harmless to humans. Is it possible this thing can kill the worms in a recently infected person? Did Eph and Nora come up with a quasi cure?

Another thing I had been curious about since The Strain Season 1 was Setrakian's age. Watching him collect the bloodworms off the decapitated strigoi sent my head spinning. That's how the old guy's still alive well into his 90s! I loved that the series finally shed some light on that mystery.

Gus was a total badass, wasn't he? I've always liked the character, though he started out as an obvious stereotype. That moment he ripped the stinger out of the strigoi's throat made him my new series hero... that's right, Fet who?

Vaun: Excellent!
Gus: This is bullshit. Why you got me running around here like an asshole?
Vaun: We are about to embark on a most important mission.
Gus: Is that why you give me a gun with only two bullets?
Vaun: You should have checked the magazine.
Gus: I should have checked my sanity to ever team up with a guy like you. Now you're gonna tell me about this big mission and why I'm so important or I'm outta here.
Vaun: We're gonna kidnap Eldritch Palmer.

Okay here's a question for you. If no one had seen Zack for an hour or so, how the hell did they catch up with him on the bus? I cheered to myself briefly, thinking Kelly had finally caught up with the kid. Psych, no such luck.

I've said this before, but I love the way Vasiliy checks in on Setrakian. I'm hoping the old man mellows out after his bloodworm Visine drops. He's been far too cantankerous lately to be the likable grandpa. Besides, one unpleasant character on this series is more than enough. You know what I'm saying?

On a more positive note, Nora finding Setrakian half-dead on the floor really helped those two characters bond. Did the old man honestly think Nora – a doctor last time I checked – would believe his eyes bled due to his age? Nice try Pops, but nah.

Nora: Suddenly you're healthy?
Setrakian: Yes, so therefore you needn't concern yourself anymore.
Nora: I was the first to believe in you; to trust you. To bring you with us. And I just saved your life.
Setrakian: You might be more disappointed in me if I told you the truth.
Nora: I don't care. You won't treat me like this. I'm your friend.
Setrakian: Alright, but you must promise not to tell anyone, including Ephraim.
Nora: You have my word.
Setrakian: I've never confided this to anyone. I consume the worms to maintain my health.

For those wondering what became of Palmer's assistant/bodyguard/driver/nurse Fitzwilliam, it was great to check in with him. Since he's on Staten Island and talking to his brother about Councilwoman Feraldo, I'm going to assume he provides her with some extremely invaluable info about Palmer. I didn't realize Kevin Hanchard of Orphan Black was playing Curtis. That was a nice surprise, as was Feraldo's speech and her avant-garde strigoi art.

Speaking of Palmer, I mentioned at the top that his arc isn't doing it for me. While I like Coco and what the writers are attempting to accomplish, Palmer is an unredeemable monster. I have very little interest in his love life. However, there was that great moment where he questioned Bolivar about the Master and his reanimation.

The other chunk of the installment that bored me was Dutch visiting Nikki's mother. The chick robbed you and swiped a bunch of your shit woman, get over it. I will say the line, "When you violate someone's heart that way, the universe remembers it," foreshadows Dutch's demise if Nikki's now a strigoi. Do you think we'll lose Dutch?

Eph's conversation with the Master via Mr. McGeever was quite epic.

So, the Master can see through all you things huh? Are you watching me now? You took my wife, my son's mother. I'm gonna take hundreds, thousands of yours. I'm gonna work my way all the way to the top; to you. Hey, my eyes are up here. You planning on sending my vampire wife after my boy? Here's the deal, Master. I will kill him and then I'll kill myself before I let you turn us into anything like you.

Eph

Those were some strong words, but I can't help wonder if Eph would have the strength to go through with it. I just have this feeling he'd off himself before hurting his kid in any way. Will the opportunity present itself? It's safe to assume Kelly and her Feelers will catch up with Zack. Will Eph hesitate when he's confronted with Kelly holding Zack in her arms? That's a scene I'm expecting soon.

I didn't see the closing sequence coming. For one, I thought Vaun was here to stay. Secondly, I never imagined Palmer had defenses in place in case Eichhorst or the Master turned on him. I found his ingenuity extremely admirable. In retrospect, it's not like the guy achieved success based on his good looks.

Was the decision to kill Vaun the reason he's no longer Mr. Quinlan? Interestingly enough, Stephen McHattie is still listed as Quinlan on IMDB. The character is so crucial to the mythology, you've got to wonder why they're flip-flopping this late in the game. Whatever the case, I'm expecting big things from the new Mr.Q.

It was terrific watching Gus attempt to save Vaun. Ever the soldier, Vaun understood his time had come. I felt awful when the floor dropped from underneath their feet and realized Vaun was a goner. Such a frickin' cool character. Palmer, you sneaky prick... touché!

Well, the bio-weapon appears to be working, and Mr. McGeever was being cut loose at the end. It's only the third episode. Will the big plan work so early in the season? If not, what do you think will go wrong? Does McGeever die before reaching the nest?

Go ahead and share your thoughts on "Fort Defiance" in the comment section. Did you think this installment was an improvement over the first two? What was your favorite scene? Still hating the new Zack? Sound off below!

NOTE: The Strain Season 2 Episode 4 is titled “The Silver Angel” and airs on Sunday, August 2.

Fort Defiance Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (18 Votes)
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The Strain Season 2 Episode 3 Quotes

Nora: Suddenly you're healthy?
Setrakian: Yes, so therefore you needn't concern yourself anymore.
Nora: I was the first to believe in you; to trust you. To bring you with us. And I just saved your life.
Setrakian: You might be more disappointed in me if I told you the truth.
Nora: I don't care. You won't treat me like this. I'm your friend.
Setrakian: Alright, but you must promise not to tell anyone, including Ephraim.
Nora: You have my word.
Setrakian: I've never confided this to anyone. I consume the worms to maintain my health.

Vaun: Excellent!
Gus: This is bullshit. Why you got me running around here like an asshole?
Vaun: We are about to embark on a most important mission.
Gus: Is that why you give me a gun with only two bullets?
Vaun: You should have checked the magazine.
Gus: I should have checked my sanity to ever team up with a guy like you. Now you're gonna tell me about this big mission and why I'm so important or I'm outta here.
Vaun: We're gonna kidnap Eldritch Palmer.